Let’s Get Published by Val Penny

I am thrilled to announce that my first non-fiction book, Let’s Get Published, is available. I do hope it will be helpful to many people.

The Blurb

At last, a book that is easy to read and tells it how it is!

A book written to assist authors maximise their success when submitting work to agents or publishers, to help authors consider their priorities and preferences for getting work into print. To advise authors how to identify the agents and/or publishers they want to approach. It should also assist with editing their manuscript fully prior to submission. The book offers advice about how to prepare a submission package to give an author the best chance of success.

The road to becoming a successful author is not easy, but it is rewarding. Let this book take you on the journey.

Let's Get Published

The Excerpt

Many people say anybody can write a book.  Most of these individuals have never tried to write one. Alternatively, it is often said that everybody has a book inside of them. That is simply not true. This is repeated and belittles the achievements of authors.

In truth, it is a very hard thing to write a book. Most people never attempt it, fewer still succeed in getting published. But if you have written a novel, or novella, or perhaps compiled a collection of short stories, poems or flash fiction, this book may help you with the next step. It is primarily intended for authors of fiction who have completed a draft of their novel and who are now looking to prepare it for submission to agents or publishers.

Of course, it may also aid poets, short story writers and authors of non-fiction. It is designed to facilitate authors in maximising their success when submitting work to agents or publishers. It is to help authors consider their priorities and preferences for getting work into print and identify the agents and/or publishers they want to approach. It should also assist with editing their manuscript fully prior to submission and preparing their submission package to give them the best chance of success.

Writing a novel is hard work.

Completing even the first rough draft of a novel can take months or even years, particularly if you are trying to fit your writing in amongst work or other commitments. It is definitely a marathon, not a sprint and requires dedication and persistence. The American writer Richard Bach who is widely known as the author of some of the 1970s’ biggest sellers, including Jonathan Livingston Seagull once said,

‘A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit’.

If you have finished the first draft of your novel and, like all writers, you now want it to reach the widest possible readership. It has to be published so that other people can read your book and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Getting your book published is likely to be even harder work than writing it. We have all heard the stories of the multiple rejections received by now best-selling authors including Kathryn Stockett who wrote The Help, also Stephen King’s bestselling novel, Carrie, was rejected over thirty times and even J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels were rejected on numerous occasions before Bloomsbury took a chance on Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. No matter how good your book might be, to get it published you will need the same level of determination, resilience, hard work and careful planning that you harnessed to write it.

Nevertheless, there is good news. There are now more routes to publication than ever before. Even just a few years ago, the market was dominated by a small number of publishing houses, most of which refused to consider any submission that was not made by a literary agent. Then, most literary agents either had full client lists and, if they did not, they were loath to take on new or unknown authors.

This situation has changed dramatically. Of course, the major publishing houses still exist, but even their attitude to agents and new authors has mellowed. Many of them now have imprints that accept submissions direct from the author. In addition to this there is a growing number of independent publishers. Most of these accept either agented or unagented submissions. They take advantage of the comparatively low costs available when publishing and distributing e-books, in preference to or as well as often offering paperbacks, on a print on demand basis. This model allows the independent publishers to provide a more responsive and faster service both to their authors and readers.

The Link

bit.ly/LetsGetPublished

author pic 2

The Author

Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However, she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories, novels and now this work of non-fiction.

Her crime novels, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ Hunter’s Revenge, Hunter’s Force and Hunter’s Blood form the bestselling series The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries. They are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by darkstroke Books. The fifth novel in the series, Hunter’s Secret, is to be published by darkstroke and available to pre-order now. This book is her first work of non-fiction.

Val Penny

 

Themes in Hunter’s Blood (The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries #4)

I write novels; crime novels that fall squarely within the police procedural style of that genre. But whether you write novels, short stories, plays or poetry, with crime, romantic or historical settings, each piece of writing will carry two or three main themes.

Themes in a work of literature range from the obvious to the very subtle. Some themes are dominant while others might be easy to miss and often the various themes engage with and impact upon one another. Themes in my novels connect settings, characters, plot and dialogue. They are often communicated through the concepts and ideas that arise throughout the text story and by being voiced in the dialogue in various ways by different characters.

In my novels the themes of the text provide the means by which I can communicate my meaning to my readers. Ideas and issues that I raise in my novels may, I hope, prompt readers to consider their own beliefs and attitudes or ways of looking at the world. For example, how different people deal with illness, hospitalisation or loss. Can any of these excuse an illegal act? I may pose the questions, but the reader will provide their own answers.

Hunter's Blood cover

My new novel, Hunter’s Blood, will be published by darkstroke on 01.01.2020. In this book the main themes are loyalty, love and coping with loss.

There is loyalty shown between the members of DI Hunter Wilson’s team of detectives, between the members of Jamie Thomson’s family, and between Tim and his friends. Love is evident between Hunter and his girlfriend Meera, Hunter and his parents and Hunter and his son. Coping with loss is always difficult and it is certainly the most complex theme addressed in Hunter’s Blood. There are several characters who face the loss of someone of something they value throughout this story. However, I would not want to publish any spoilers before the novel is even published!

Hunter’s Blood is the fourth book in my Edinburgh Crime Mystery series and I very much hope all readers will enjoy it. The novel can be ordered at http://mybook.to/huntersblood 

Edinburgh Crime Mysteries 4

Val Penny Answers Questions posed by Crime Writer Lorraine Mace

Val Penny #interview #writerslife

This article first appeared online at https://thewritersabcchecklist.blogspot.com/2019/10/val-penny-interview-writerslife

A warm Wednesday welcome to Val Penny.

Val Penny 2

What genre would you say your novels fall into, or do they defy classification?

My novels fall firmly within the Tartan Noir part of the crime genre. I write Police Procedurals set in the beautiful city of Edinburgh.

What made you choose that genre?

I chose that genre because that is the style of story that I most enjoy reading. I do read all kinds of books: fiction, non-fiction, romance, historical and women’s fiction, indeed, I even enjoy reading the occasional sci-fi novel. However, my favourite genre is crime.

How long does it take you to write a book?

My first book took me about two and a half years to write. This was partly because I didn’t know what I was doing and partly because I was being treated for breast cancer when I started writing it. Now, books take me between six and eight months to write.

Hunter's Revenge Cover

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Ideally, I like to get my ‘life jobs’ done in the morning such as feeding

the cats and answering emails. After lunch I write or edit depending on what stage my WIP is at. I am more of a night owl than a lark, so I often work on into the night, if I am inspired.

Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know.

I love cats and have had them in my life since I was three years old. Recently, when I went to the doctor about a persistent blocked nose, I was diagnosed with an allergy to cats!

This has not changed my life, nor that of my cats. We just co-habit with antihistamine tablets!

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I wrote my first novel, a family saga, called The Douglas Family for my little sister when I was nine. It had original illustrations in it, but sadly it was never published.

Hunter's Blood cover

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love to spend time with family and friends, meeting for coffee or going out to the movies or for dinner. I knit, walk and swim and am a voracious reader. However, my most extravagant interest is travel. I love to visit different parts of the world. My husband treated me to Rome for my most recent significant birthday and we spent the day climbing Mount Vesuvius and wandering the streets of Pompeii. I had a wonderful time and would be surprised if my protagonist, Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson, did not visit there sometime.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

The first two publishing houses that received my manuscript were both interested. I was surprised to learn that most authors struggle to find a publisher.

How many books have you written?

I have published three novels in my Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series. The fourth, Hunter’s Blood, is due to be published 01.02.2020.

Do you Google yourself? What did you find that affected you most (good or bad)?

No. Never. I don’t believe everything I read in the papers either!

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I originally wanted to be a ballet dancer or own a candy store. Until I achieve either of these aims, I better keep writing.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have on your computer?

Not many. I write my notes for future works into notebooks rather than clutter the computer. I do, however, have a very large collection of half-filled notebooks!

Edinburgh Crime Mysteries 4

Bio: Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer.

However, she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels. Her crime novels, Hunter’s Chase, Hunter’s RevengeHunter’s Force and Hunter’s Blood are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by Crooked Cat Books. The fifth book in the series, Hunter’s Secret, follows shortly.

Author contact details

www.authorvalpenny.com

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